Eulogy for Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas, one of my undergraduate mentors at the University of Minnesota, passed away on 29 August. I happened to be in town for the memorial on September 28th (I was at a conference upstairs!), and Richard Leppert–my undergraduate advisor and Gary’s close colleague, friend and confidante–asked me to speak as a representative of his […]

20 Years In

I taught my first class as a professor in the fall of 1999. As I enter class today, this will begin my 21st year as a professor (my first class as a teacher was in fall of 1994, so that’s 25 years ago, not 20 but whatever). Undergrad and grad school were 10 years combined […]

An Open Letter in Support of Divest McGill

As I’ve mentioned before, McGill students have been organizing a campaign to get McGill to divest from fossil fuels.  This seems eminently sensible to me. This past week, the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility released a report to the Board of Governors recommending AGAINST divestment because (among other things) oil companies have […]

Geoffrey Bennington’s review of the new translation of Derrida’s Of Grammatology: read as a commentary on the humanities.

Read the review here: https://lareviewofbooks.org/review/embarrassing-ourselves This was a great read over breakfast. I want to leave aside the intra-Derridean sniping and draw some bigger lessons from this review: 1. It’s dangerous for scholars to cut corners: look at the text, not your notes on the text. Advice for students and super stars alike. (or rather, we […]

Some Suggestions for Improving the Humanities Dissertation and Defence at McGill

…or at least the dissertation in Communication Studies. How do you improve the dissertation and the defence?  A few weeks back, the faculty members in Communication Studies at McGill met to talk about the graduate curriculum and these topics came up.  But some changes we would like to make would be impossible in the current […]